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What to know before selling your home in fall, winter 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed much of what we do on a daily basis. It has also changed the way we sell our houses. Much of what was previously done in person has moved to online platforms. Homebuyers are also developing new priorities such as looking outside of the city and into suburbs and rural areas. Currently, homebuyers are also searching for homes that offer spacious office areas and more amenities. If you are preparing to sell your home there are some things you should be aware of before putting it on the market.

Expert Online Marketing is Critical. Because of the current health pandemic, if you have concerns about offering open houses then as a seller you must present the curb appeal of your home through online platforms. Virtual tours are more popular than ever leaving first impressions critical for sellers. Hiring an agent that offers 3D matterport, virtual tours, video and high quality home photography is critical to the success of your home sale. 

Your listing agent should have extensive knowledge of the “online experience” of real estate. This means that they are using the latest technology, social media platforms and providing every opportunity for your home to get in front of the most qualified audience. 

At Glass House, we offer our sellers the ultimate online showcase for their home. Every listing has its own unique customized website with a virtual 3D tour, fusion photography and opportunity for buyers to request more information and showings. We launch a custom digital marketing campaign for each home based on its targeted market, including advertising on top social media platforms as well as local print and digital publications. Our homes are under contract within an average of 8 days on market in 2020 and have a 97% list to sale price ratio. 

Home Preparation & Investment in Improvements. Even in a seller’s market if you want top dollar for your home, you may have to invest in improvements. We recommend painting, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, power washing and carpet cleaning for all our listings. If you need small repairs such as a loose handle, a leaky faucet, a hole or dent in the wall, then get it done. Improving your home so that buyers see it in the best condition possible is critical to getting the highest price. Recently, our sellers on a Falls Church, Va. single family home spent about $4,000 on improvements, which would have cost almost double if it were retail pricing, and netted $25,000 over asking price and $75,000 over the most recent comps. Another seller in Arlington did $24,000 of work over a six-month period, including finishing a partially finished basement, and netted $65,000 over asking price and $115,000 over the comparable homes. Finally, another seller in Bluemont Arlington spent around $4,000 and netted $45,000 over asking price (not to mention – this entire sale from start to finish was done virtually). 

Unoccupied & Vacant Homes. If it is possible to have your home unoccupied and vacant when you are ready to put it on the market, that is the best case scenario for a fast sale. Not only does an unoccupied home have more appeal than one packed with your furniture and personal items, but it also allows for in-person private tours. 

Staging can emphasize your selling points. Today’s buyers are more interested in home offices, indoor and outdoor amenities like large pools, BBQ areas, and outdoor fireplaces. An unoccupied, staged office can accentuate this as a huge selling point. Master suites can even be staged adding a corner office that may have not been there before. Home gyms, basements, and outdoor amenities are also a key area for homeowners to accentuate. Appearance is literally everything when it comes to selling your home in today’s market. You are more likely to sell your home at a higher price unoccupied and staged. 

This is The Time For Sellers to Be Motivated. The market is on fire right now. With more and more buyers finding comfort in buying homes sight unseen along with incredibly low interest rates, houses are flying off the market. If you have made the decision to sell your home this is definitely the time to be motivated and prepare in every way to get it on the market. If at all possible vacate your home and stage it appropriately to the needs of today’s homebuyers. If you are unable to move before selling your home be sure to purge, de-clutter and clean your home thoroughly. Accentuate selling points such as home offices and both indoor and outdoor amenities and hire a real estate agent that offers expertise in online marketing campaigns. 

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